A Florida teacher facilitated classroom fights between girls at her high school, even posting rules and warning students not to pull their hair, Tallahassee authorities said Monday.
Angel Drew Footman, 23, is charged with four counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, according to Leon County court documents. The arraignment was scheduled for May 4, court records show.
It was unclear if he has an lawyer. The area’s public defender’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
An affidavit filed to support Footman’s arrest warrant, which was issued Thursday, said she denied organizing the fights at Griffin High School in Tallahassee.
The document’s author, Sheriff’s Detective Hannah Parry, wrote that Footman offered this explanation: «Footman openly stated that he knows he has poor classroom management skills.»
Lacayo was jailed Friday after he turned himself in to deputies in neighboring Gadsden County, the Leon County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement Monday. She was released two hours later, according to Gadsden County inmate records.
The affidavit is said to be based on numerous interviews with faculty members and students, including girls involved in the fights, some of whom came to Footman’s sixth-grade classroom from other classes to participate, according to the document.
All of the girls had had Footman as their teacher at some point, the affidavit says. Some «were called from other classes to participate in these fights,» she said.
The footman denied calling the girls out of those rooms, he said.
Two fights took place on March 22 and one on March 23, the document says. It involved six girls who were paired up, she said. No one reported being injured.
The videos captured a voice that school administrators said was Footman’s, the detective wrote. The voice seemed to present rules: «30 seconds, no yelling, no yelling, no phones.»
She also intervened, at least verbally, a few times, the document says. The footman is alleged to have said at one point, «Stop pulling the hair.» At another point in the videos, the voice said, «Split it up.»
A school resource officer was aware of the altercations on the second day of fighting, the Leon County Sheriff’s Office said, and Parry, the detective, was on campus the next day to investigate, the affidavit said.
The participants told him that the fights were planned, he said. The girls did not say that Footman set them up, but they did seem to suggest that she was helpful, according to the affidavit. It is alleged that she asked, for example, if they wanted «friendly fade» confrontations, according to the affidavit.
The term refers to fights between friends who agree to remain friends afterwards.
Parry alleged that Footman encouraged delinquency in the girls by failing to intervene most of the time, failing to report fights to superiors, and failing to inform parents.
The Leon County Sheriff’s Office recognized the parents for taking action.
“LCSO thanks diligent parents and others for reporting the videos to administrators,” it said in its statement.